Mobile Basing as a Strategic Capability: The USMC and Re-shaping the Joint and Coalition Force


By Robbin Laird

With the current focus on finding ways for the USMC to better support the joint force, a key opportunity might be overlooked.

How might the joint and coalition force reshape themselves to be capable of either doing or leveraging mobile basing?

The Marines with their triad of the Osprey-F-35-CH-53K operating off of sea bases can provide a significant launch point for the USAF, the US Navy and the US Army to learn how to weave multi-domain air-sea-land integration into a force leveraging mobile basing.

This is critical no matter where one finds oneself on the spectrum of warfare.

For the limited wars we are engaged in with the 21st century authoritarian powers, it is crucial to be present at the point of interest.

It is necessary as well to be persistent in your presence with reachback to other capabilities to ensure escalation control.

Mobile basing with kill web reach is a key element for escalation control and a key enabler for distributed integrated operations when needed to provide for a force able to enhance its survivability.

With the Osprey-F35-CH-53K triad and a reimagining of how to use and develop the amphibious task force capabilities, the joint and coalition force can evolve much more effectively in the near to mid term.

It is crucial to deliver integrated rather than dissipated combat capability which can be generated by so called-disruptive change rather than leveraging real capabilities at hand and expanding the strategic imagination of how to use such capabilities.

It is crucial to leverage what the U.S. forces already have at hand.

There is a strategic opportunity to expand significantly how to think about mobile basing within the evolution of the joint and coalition force,.

The next round of articles on mobile basing will focus on how to do this.

For the first round of articles on mobile basing which provide the foundation for the next round of analysis on this key subject, see the following:

The featured image highlights my forthcoming book on USMC transformation.